chocolate covered strawberries, rose petals on the bed, candle lit dinners and the ever popular do-it-yourself massage. I'm not saying those things don't have merit, I'm just saying that none of that seems like something Big Daddy is going to do backflips over. I just don't know many men who wish their gals were sending them flowers more often. Romance is something women crave. Guys like fun. Right? So what's something Big Daddy would really enjoy doing that wouldn't involve plane tickets or a second mortgage on a house we don't even own?
So here my guidelines for planning a special day for Big Daddy:
1. As simple as it sounds, I want to do something that is all about HIM. At Christmas I noticed that almost all of his gifts were things he needed and would use but there just wasn't a whole lot of fun in those packages. I am probably the worst about deciding what he ought to want (like nicer clothes and better shoes) instead of really considering what he would truly enjoy.
2. I want to plan something we haven't done. When Big Daddy and I were dating we went on lots of fieldtrips we enjoyed. I know he likes going to museums and great restaurants. (No REALLY, he does!) I think it's cheating to revisit those same places for Valentines Day.
3. We need to stay out of the way of the hot spots that will be over-crowded and over-priced because it's a holiday. If I were Oprah Winfrey I'd be buying All Star Game tickets and booking my table at 560. The limo would be a given and Big Daddy would be grinning from ear to ear without any worries about how much I spent but I don't live on that planet.
4. I know it's cliche, but it IS the thought that counts. I don't have a lot of money but I do have time to plan something that will let him know how much I care about him. Sometimes big "I love yous" come in a lot of little packages.
5. Consider the "WOW value." When I was younger and broke, I subscribed to a newsletter called "The Tightwad Gazette." I learned a lot about how to save money on the small things so that I had the money for big things. One of the most important ideas the newsletter taught me was about "wow value," and how that value is different for different people. If carrots taste the same whether I buy them at Whole Foods, Kroger, or Sprouts, why would I buy my carrots at Whole foods when they are on sale at Kroger? If I save twelve dollars shopping at Kroger for most of our food, I don't get in a twist when Big Daddy wants to spend twelve dollars on pate at Market Street. Along those same lines, if the pate from Market Street makes him happy why go to a restaurant and pay twice as much for half as much pate unless the ambiance and service is worth the pricetag? If I save money on one or two ideas that are still thoughtful and fun, I can indulge a little more on a gift that he'll really appreciate. The other thing I learned about frugality is that being careful with how money is spent doesn't make one endlessly cheap, it provides opportunities to be more generous!
6. Get personal. The most important thing I need to do really think about MY man and really think about what would make him feel spoiled rotten. As I've been writing this I've been thinking about ideas he's run up the flagpole that I've never saluted. I need to remember that romance is showing him that I hear him, I know him and I love HIM. I need to take some time to think about the things he loves and incorporate those things into my master plan. Perhaps it's time I explore sushi and anime or consider bowling and baby backs because romance isn't just leather or lace, flowers and candles, or chocolate and wine--it's learning a new language and finding a new way to both show him and tell him that HE is the man I love.
I don't have a master plan yet, but I think I'm on the right track. The first thing I need to do is make sure that my plans don't interfere with any plans he will be making. The good news is that this year Valentines Day falls on a Sunday so if we need to, we can do a his and hers days without a problem. If you have any great ideas to share PLEASE leave a comment!